35th Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (ACSAC 2019)

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Coordinated Dataflow Protection for Ultra-High Bandwidth Science Networks

The Science DMZ (SDMZ) is a special purpose network architecture proposed by ESnet (Energy Sciences Network) to facilitate distributed science experimentation on terabyte- (or petabyte-) scale data, exchanged over ultra-high bandwidth WAN links. Critical security challenges faced by these networks include: (i) network monitoring at high bandwidths, (ii) reconciling site-specific policies with project-level policies for conflict-free policy enforcement, (iii) dealing with geographically-distributed datasets with varying levels of sensitivity, and (iv) dynamically enforcing appropriate security rules. To address these challenges, we develop a fine-grained dataflow-based security enforcement system, called CoordiNetZ (CNZ), that provides coordinated situational awareness, i.e., the use of context-aware tagging for policy enforcement using the dynamic contextual information derived from hosts and network elements. We also developed tag and IP-based security microservices that incur minimal overheads in enforcing security to data flows exchanged across geographically-distributed SDMZ sites. We evaluate our prototype implementation across two geographically distributed SDMZ sites with SDN-based case studies, and present performance measurements that respectively highlight the utility of our framework and demonstrate efficient implementation of security policies across distributed SDMZ networks.

Vasudevan Nagendra
Stony Brook University

Vinod Yegneswaran
SRI International

Phil Porras
SRI International

Samir Das
Stony Brook University


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